Posts tagged ‘diet’
Lately I’ve been tickled pink with my mental state around my body.
A quick rundown of the facts: I’ve gained 11 pounds in the past year. I’m heavier than I’ve been in 9 years. And while I recognize I certainly need to amend certain eating and dietary habits, I am not unhappy with myself.
Quite the contrary. I’m actually quite PLEASED.
“But how,” people question me. “How is it possible for you to carry this extra weight but still be OK with it.”
So glad you asked!
Over the past year, I’ve allowed myself to eat the foods that for YEARS I wouldn’t dream of eating. And yes, I’ve eaten more than my calorie allotment of chocolate cake. Actually, I think I’ve eaten enough dessert to last me 2 years.
But what have I gained (besides the 11 pounds?) I’ve gained understanding and appreciation and even LOVE for a body at a weight I never thought I could live with. I can honestly say that I love my bigger body. And only now, with this self love, can I begin to truly lose the weight for good.
(Oh, and by the way, if I can feel this way, you certainly can, too.)
I’ve been thinking about how when I was aged 21-28, let’s say, when I was much thinner than I am now, I was miserable. At 118 pounds I thought my thighs were fat. At 120 pounds, same thing. At 122-124 pounds, right again. I didn’t see the body that everyone called “thin,” but rather my thunder thighs.
And I think back to that former body and I’m just sad. I never enjoyed it. I never thought to myself, “Wow, I have this amazing body that I’m eating right and exercising and I’m in top shape, and I just love it!” Nope. I just doused myself with a heap of red-hot hate. Again and again. I think about what my lack of self confidence kept me from doing in life, and the situations I allowed to continue (ie. mentally abusive relationships) because I didn’t feel worthy. It’s amazing how cells of fat can control your life.
I guess what I’m trying to point out is that at 118 pounds I wasn’t happy. Being thin isn’t the answer to my problems. Being thin won’t make me happy.
Being older and wiser, I understand that losing weight isn’t the answer to my happiness. There will ALWAYS be something. There might ALWAYS be more weight to lose. That is why I have made an enormous effort to find ways to love myself as I am right now…even if it’s at a weight that’s higher than I’d like.
So try, just try for me, please…to think about this body your inhabiting right now. If you hate your thighs, most likely you’ve always hated your thighs and probably always will. But it doesn’t mean you can’t love what you’ve got right now!
**Have you signed up for the FREE virtual Love Your Body Day Telesummit? No? Sign up here and get my free report, “10 Ways We Love Our Body Best.” By signing up you’ll get access to over 19 experts in the health and wellness fields, helping you to live your best, juiciest life possible. Can’t attend? No problem! Sign up anyway and you’ll get recordings of all the calls so you can listen on your own time.
I went to the Farmer’s Market yesterday…a perfect Fall day.
Unfortunately, friends, it’s the end of Mother Earth’s summer bounty: raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, nectarines, peaches…ooooh, I’m drooling. I can almost taste them…
Yeah, well, sorry to disappoint but they’re out of season.
Now we’ve got apples, pears, squashes (hello pumpkin!) and lots of greens. LOTS of them.
Me? I love vegetables, especially dark leafy greens like kale, swiss chard, and collards (my fave). But for someone who isn’t used to working with them, those bushy monsters can be downright scary. What the heck do you do with them when you get home? How do you actually cook a kale?
So glad you asked! I too was once like you. But then I got this amazeballs book, Greens Glorious Greens! More than 140 Ways to Prepare All Those Great-tasting, Super-Healthy, Beautiful Leafy Greens by Johnna Albi & Catherine Walthers.
Man, this book delivers. Let’s take kale, for example. The authors tell you how to shop for it, cook it, and store it. The kale chapter had 13 different recipes (all VERY easy) from basic kale, lemon-basil kale to potato kale soup. Seriously, all so easy to make.
This is a MUST-HAVE for any healthy kitchen. Sorry to say, now you no longer have an excuse not to buy your leafy greens. Which, buy the way, are super nutritious. Calorie for calorie, they pack in the most nutrition of any other vegetable. They are a goldmine of minerals (ha ha ha, get it, gold mine….oh, forget it!) like iron, potassium and magnesium. Don’t forget vitamins like K, C, E, and the B vitamins. One cup of cooked greens provides 9 times the recommended intake of vitamin K (which is super important for blood clotting, bone health, diabetes, and inflammation). So basically, eat your greens.
To get you started, here’s one of my favorite recipes from the book which I made last night. All of my ingredients came straight from the farmer’s market…delish.
Collard Greens and Caramelized Onions (servies 2-3)
3/4 pound collard greens (6 or 7 cups, chopped)
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (although this would taste great with coconut oil, too!)
3 onions, sliced into thin crescents
3 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
1. Wash collards, remove stalks, and stack 4-5 leaves. Slice into strips, approx 1/4″ wide
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 15-20 minutes, until golden and sweet. Take care not to burn (LOL, i always do!). Add garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes until golden.
3. While the onions are cooking, bring 2-3 cups of water to boil in a 10-12″ skillet with a lid. Add collards, cover, and cook over high heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The greens are cooked when they are tender but still bright green. Drain in a colander and set aside. (As an aside, you can save this water and when it cools, water your plants with it. They’ll get all the water-soluble vitamins from the collards that leached out into the water!)
4. Add greens to onion and garlic. Season with salt to taste and cook for another 1-2 minutes to heat through. Serve hot, drizzled with additional olive oil if you dare.
**Add 2 tablespoons raisins for the last 3 minutes of cooking if you wish!**
Yes, that happened. To ME. Just yesterday.
Listen folks, I’m gonna be totally transparent here. I’m no fool. I know my weight has crept up over the past year. I’m not going to make excuses (change in schedule, school, not working out as much, poor food choices under stress) because I was the one that put my health on the back burner.
But when a doctor tells me, a student of NUTRITION, for crying out loud, that I’ve gained too much weight and I need to lose 10 pounds, well…that kinda sucks. I ain’t gonna lie.
I’ll be honest: For a brief second, I felt like a failure, a phony. How could someone who is deemed “overweight” able to dish out health and wellness advice to the world?
That lasted for approximately 3 seconds.
What kicked in instead was a feeling of peace. Yes, peace! That I’m really OK with the fact that I’ve gained weight over the past year. And just as I made poor decisions one too many times, I can make the right ones just as easily. I’m even excited to lose a few pounds through small changes (and NO, I am NOT going on a “ohmygodIhavetolose10poundsin2weeks” diet)
But what’s even better is that I still LOVE my body. I love every inch of it. OK, maybe not every inch, but close to it. I’ve never felt better naked, and the last time I weighed this much was after my Freshman 15 in college. And I sure as hell ain’t going to let some guy (read: my MD) dictate how I should feel about myself.
So, my lovelies, repeat after me: I LOVE MY BODY, no matter WHAT the scale says.
Now say: I will NEVER let ANYONE tell me how I should feel about myself. This is MY body, MY life!
PS. Another reason why I wanted to be completely authentic with you is to show you that being healthy, even for someone who is immersed in the health/wellness world, takes work. If you don’t make your wellbeing a priority, all of a sudden you’ll be sitting in your doctor’s office with him telling you you’ve gained 11 pounds in 1 year. So, if it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
If you’re a fan of the movie “Office Space” like I am, you’ll know the phrase: “Does someone have a bad case of the Mondays?” pretty well. In fact, as it’s Monday today, people around the world are uttering those words right now.
Do you have a bad case of the Mondays? Are you tired from the weekend or not wanting to be in your job? Yeah, I understand. Me too, sometimes.
But for me, Mondays take on a different hue: I’m “back on” my “good” eating.
Does this sound like you? You eat “well” all week, go to the gym, feel good about your diet. Then then weekend comes along (I like to call it the WEAK-end) and you’re more relaxed, eating and drinking more, perhaps skipping a workout. And then before you know it again it’s Monday! “Oh crap!” you say to yourself, “I totally blew the weekend with my diet! I’ve gotta get back into healthy eating again.” And around and around it goes, until you’re trapped in the Mondays hamster wheel.
I thought you might know a thing or two about this.
So, what to do? Unfortunately the answer is deceptively simple: Don’t engage in WEAK-ends.
1. Continue listening to what your body wants. Don’t use the excuse “Well, heck, it’s Friday so I should have 7 drinks and pizza” because that’s what your conditioned to do. Listen to your body. Do you really WANT that?
2. Schedule in your workouts. And I mean in your calendar. With pen. Perhaps try hitting the gym first thing when you wake up to get it out of the way. Or, instead of your usual routine try something else: a new exercise class, a hike, or a long walk exploring your neighborhood (that’s my fave weekend workout)
3. Stock up the fridge on Thursday night. This is one I need to remind myself of, too. If you’re like me, you buy lots of groceries on Sunday night for the upcoming week, and by Friday, most of your food is gone, leaving you to rely on take-out, restaurants, and foods you wouldn’t normally consume (read=not as healthy). Why not make a trip to the supermarket on Thursday night so your fridge is stocked with all your favorite, healthy foods for the weekend?
4. Indulge more during the week. What the heck, Amanda? Yes, it’s true! If you’re trying to be too “good” and “perfect” with your eating during the week, not allowing yourself any treats, it’s no wonder you’re splurging during the weekend. Friends, my blog is called CAKE and carrots for a reason: there is room for both in your diet. If this scares you, start by adding one small treat during the week and see if that feels good to you, and if it makes any difference in the way you eat during the weekend. Perhaps a little dark chocolate is all you really need.
Do you have a case of the “Mondays” today?
7am: Wakeup I woke up this morning (sans alarm–yes, I’m one of those annoying morning people) feeling….strangely GREAT. I went to bed hungry so I was curious (and yes, a bit apprehensive) as to what this new day would bring, but I’m feeling GOOD! Took a long walk with the dog this morning and had some hot water with lemon before my morning smoothie.
9am: Raw Smoothie Same as yesterday’s. Love it, very hearty. I wasn’t even hungry for breakfast, strangely enough. Let’s re-assess in a few hours before lunch.
10:45am: I am starting to feel a little..well, woozy. I haven’t moved from the sofa since breakfast (catching up on Project Runway) so it’s not like I’ve been active. I think I’m just hungry. Going to snack on some carrot sticks to tide me over till lunch.
12pm: Root Ginger Soup carrots, lentiles, ginger, herbs, potassium broth, salt, garlic, parsley, collard, flax OMG this soup was amazing! Creamy, thick, tasty, warm. JUST what I needed. I added some brown rice and 1/4 avocado to the soup (OK per my personalized modifications) and after eating I am completely satisfied.
Another reason why I think this lunch was so satisfying is because I know that Yvette, the founder of Joulebody, made this herself, in her kitchen. It doesn’t come from a big facility and I can actually taste that this cleanse was made specifically for me. Makes me feel special.
I also noticed that I haven’t had any cravings yet. I figured I’d be yearning for chocolate or something sweet but in all honesty, I haven’t. I’m very sensitive to when there’s no sugar in my diet but yet I haven’t felt those intense cravings. Score!
3pm: Green Joule Drink Same as yesterday, just as good! Very refreshing, and love the chia seeds to give it some texture.
3:45pm: I went for a 90 minute walk with my dog and for me, that’s about all I could muster for exercise today. Even though I’m feeling good and clear headed, I’m still a bit tired and I don’t want to push myself. I’m hoping tmw I will make it to chisel class. I’ve been snacking on some carrots to tide me over because I’m slightly hungry. This cleanse is also answering the question: When food isn’t part of your day, how do you fill your time? I’m so accustomed to always cooking, preparing, and thinking of where and what I’m going to eat. If I’m sad, bored, tired, etc., my first reaction is to turn to food. Now, during this detox, I don’t have that option. It’s quite eye opening for me to see how much I turn to food in my life.
5pm: Citrus Cleanser Same “master cleanse” as yesterday. Love the spicy aftertaste kick. I am definitely more hungry today, perhaps from the long walk I took. I was getting a manicure just before drinking this juice and I was grumpy and cranky and had NO patience for the manicurist who was too slow. I quickly walked home to be in the comfort of my own home. Cannot wait for dinner!
7pm: Protein: Dandelion and Lentil onion, celery, parsley, garlic, fennel, potassium broth, cayenne, collard, dandelion, tumeric, cider vinegar, lentil Now this is what I call a good dinner! See pic and video below:
I was amazed that I was satisfied by a small portion of food. This makes me realize that I’m normally eating too much!
8pm: Fiber Cookies Same as yesterday, a welcome sweetness to the day. I enjoyed them after my massage.
Hooray, day 2 completed!
Recap: Today was WAY better than yesterday. My energy and mental clarity increased. I did experience some moments of crankiness, but nothing like yesterday. I still do not have any cravings for sweets. I experienced more hunger pains, but was satisfied with the juices and the meals. The carrots, brown rice, and avocado really helped me get through the day.
What’s becoming clear: I’m beginning to understand why this is called the Kickstart…it’s like pushing the reset button on your diet. I’m hyper aware of what I put into my body and how I feel afterwards. Eating fresh, unprocessed, wholesome foods just makes me feel good (ie. no bloating, etc). I’m realizing that I can be satisfied with less food on my plate. And, I’m re-familiarizing myself with the sensation of being hungry. Somewhere along the way I started believing that hunger was something bad, a sensation to fear. I realized today that I haven’t been truly hungry in a while, and I love feeling how my body is checking in with me, telling me what it wants.
Day 2 done….one more day to go!
Today I woke up to 2 things:
2. an email from Yvette from Joulebody introducing me to the cleanse.Which then brought about an “Oh crap, am I really going to do this?!” reaction.
The Kickstart email contained my menu of the day, complete with ingredients and nutritional breakdown (more on that later) and instructions on how to make my most of the cleanse. For example, tongue brushing/scraping is recommended (which I love and already do!), in addition exfoliating showers, drinking herbal tea, exercising, and….duh duh duh…a colonic, enema, or Epsom salt and water in order to clean the bowels (While I’ve done colonics multiple times, there is no way I’m stepping near an enema, so…we’ll see what happens)
The menu described what exactly I’m eating/drinking and what time I should eat it. Also, each bottle is labeled accordingly so there is no doubt as to what I should eat.
While I am glad that I have these documents to help me along, I wish I would’ve gotten them earlier in the week instead of today. That way I could have prepared better, acquired the supplemental ingredients, and felt more prepared mentally.
But here we go!
9am: Raw Chia Berry Smoothie: Ayurvedic tea, aloe, seeds, berries, chia, hemp, flax. I was STARVING by the time I drank my very first smoothie, and what I really wanted was a big bowl of oatmeal instead. But this was a thickened drink (from the chia and flax, I’m guessing) that was quite delicious and refreshing. I slowly sipped the drink, as suggested, and was surprisingly pleased that when I finished, I felt satisfied. I made sure to drank a lot of water, too. You know, this might be very doable after all!
12:00pm: Replenish Creamless Cleanse: greens, seaweed, carrots, celery, potassium broth, salt, pepper, onion, garlic, herbs, chickpea. Watch my first reaction (Pardon the light in the background, I recorded this at the office):
Ok, so I loved that the soup was warm. Heck, I just loved that I was EATING food. But there was an overpowering taste like fennel that for me, a non-fennel lover, was a bit overpowering. I won’t lie and say I’m not missing my lunch of brown rice and veggies. Immediately after finishing, I just want to keep eating. Fifteen minutes later, however, I’m oddly satisfied.
2pm Update: No food, just feeling…vapid. Unable to concentrate. I feel like an air-head, basically. I’m tired. I also just got an email from Joulebody saying that I CAN eat some brown rice, certain veggies, avocado. I really, really, really wished I had gotten this email NOT today so I could’ve brought that to eat, too. I think a little serving of brown rice would’ve done me a lot of good!
3pm: Green Joule juice: collard, apple, aloe, flax, cucumber, dandelion, chlorophyll This drink couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m tired and dragging, and I just want to go home. I had lofty ideas of going to the gym but instead I’m going to take a nice leisurely walk with my dog. The thought of even getting out of my clothes right now seems exhausting. Enter the Green Joule. Hot damn, this tastes good! A perfect amount of sweetness from the apple, and the deep green color from the chlorophyll makes me feel healthy just looking at it! One issue: jar was too difficult to open on my own (and I certainly ain’t feeling strong right now) Luckily I have a strong coworker who opened for me. The best part is that I have another drink in 2 hours! I can do 2 hours.
4:45pm Update: Ugh, I am really, really dragging now. I’ve hardly had anything to eat and I’m at work. The most I could muster was stapling some papers together and trolling through Perez Hilton. I have 15 minutes until my Citrus Cleanse but I really just want to be teleported to my bed. With ice cream. I know some people have some spiritual rebirths during fasting, but I am definitely not there yet. It’s not a tummy rumbling kinda hungry. I just feel…empty.
5pm Citrus Cleanse: Lemon, water, maple syrup, cayenne Ahh, so THIS is what it’s like to do the Master Cleanse. The drink is super refreshing, lightly sweetened with a kick of cayenne as an aftertaste. In a weird way reminds me of the “bug juice” I drank at sleep away camp. The label says: “A pure citrus drink to lessen sugar cravings and clean tastebuds.” Hmmm. Well, actually, yes, my tastebuds feel clean. It’s a palate cleanser–how fancy! After this, I’m heading home on the subway back to Brooklyn (wish me luck on that) where I will bide my time until I can eat dinner at 7pm. You best believe I’m heading to the supermarket first to pick up brown rice, carrot, and celery sticks!
7pm: Protein Cleanse Wrap: Chick pea, edamame, parsley, garlic, hemp, potassium broth, cayenne, collard, seaweed, tumeric, cider vinegar This is what I’ve been waiting for ALL day. REAL food! And this food is GOOD! Like, really good. Portion is super small. That’s an appetizer plate, FYI .I seriously could’ve eaten 40 of those babies. Check out pic and video:
After dinner I went on a 45 minute walk with my dog. I can’t believe I had visions of doing anything more than a long walk for exercise. I definitely had enough energy for the walk, and it felt good to get my blood pumping a bit, but I came home and was exhausted. On a positive note, I noticed that my stomach has NO BLOATING at all–it’s totally flat, which is quite wonderful. And none of the meals created any gas, either.
8pm: Flavor & Fiber Cookies These 2 small cookies came wrapped in foil, and I had visions of chocolate dancing in my head. Silly me, of course. These were 2 small granola/oat like cookies with dried fruit for flavor. I love that there was dessert more than I liked the dessert itself, but it did the trick.
So, that’s all for the food, folks! I am done with Day #1!!
I’m not gonna pretend and say it was a cinch. Truthfully, there were points in the day where I was very unhappy and felt as though my head was going to detach from my body (that air-headed feeling). But those sensations came and went, and I was able to function throughout the day. And come to think of it, I only had real hunger pains once today, right before lunch. Otherwise, it was a feeling of emptiness and weariness. Oh yeah, and crankiness. Definitely crankiness. Luckily Matt is away this weekend!
I’ll be ending the evening with a hot Epsom Salt bath and a cup of Smooth Move tea to get everything, well, moving.
Day 1 Recap:
What I Loved: The 9am morning smoothie, the green drink, and the cleanse wrap. Those were my favorites. I adore the labels on each of the jars…so cute! I also love that I made it through day 1.
What I would improve: I wish I received the documents about the cleanse BEFORE I started. It would have made the transition MUCH easier. I was bummed that I didn’t know about the rice and carrot/celery sticks until today as I would have brought those snacks with me today.
Feelings/Sensation: One bout of hunger pains. The rest of the day a bit cranky, weak, and definitely weary. Tired. Unable to focus much. BUT–able to function throughout the day.
Before your mind starts to go places it shouldn’t, I’m doing a food cleanse (or detox, however you prefer to call it) for 3 days starting today, Friday.
I’ve selected the Kickstart Program from Joulebody, designed by wellness coach (and super sweet) Yvette Rose. My interest was peaked when I saw the cleanse reviewed by Vital Juice and I thought I would give it a go. You see, I’ve never done a juice-only cleanse before because I don’t believe that your stomach and intestines need a break from processing food (Actually, that doesn’t make sense to me AT ALL.)
That being said, I’ve always been curious about doing a juice cleanse, especially one from those fancy delivery services. I’ve been so close multiple times to signing up, but at the last minute chickened out. What’s attracted me to Joulebody is that there is FOOD. Yes, FOOD! Each day there are juices, an electrolyte rich soup, a vegan protein dinner, and a little dessert (Yes, dessert!).
Joulebody offers shipping in Manhattan, so my 3-days worth of goodies were dropped off in pretty glass bottles (although my physical therapist is going to kill me for lugging the package all the way back to Brooklyn).
Let’s see what the food looks like, shall we?
So, for the next three days I will be blogging, videoing, and tweeting my experiences of this cleanse, so please check back for updates often! Although I am a healthy eater, I have no doubt that I am going to be humbled by this experience. I’m thinking of this as a science experiment, with me as the human guinea pig!
Check out video #1:
Already I’m nervous because it doesn’t look like much food or protein, but we’ll see how I fare. I promise to give you the honest truth. And in full disclosure, I paid full price for Kickstart, so reset assured that I will be straight forward with you!